Canada is a North American country stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometers (3.85 million square miles), making it the world’s second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area. Canada’s border with the United States is the world’s longest land border. The majority of the country has a cold or severely cold winter climate, but southerly areas are warm in summer. Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land territory being dominated by forest and tundra and the Rocky Mountains. About four-fifths of the country’s population of 36 million people is urbanized and live near the southern border.
Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the 16th century, British and French claims were made on the area, with the colony of Canada first being established by the French in 1537. As a consequence of various conflicts, the United Kingdom gained and lost territories within British North America until it was left, in the late 18th century, with what mostly geographically comprises Canada today. Pursuant to the British North America Act, on July 1, 1867, the colonies of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia joined to form the semi-autonomous federal Dominion of Canada. This began an accretion of provinces and territories to the mostly self-governing Dominion to the present ten provinces and three territories forming modern Canada.
Major cities include massive Toronto, west coast film centre Vancouver, French-speaking Montréal and Québec City, and capital city Ottawa. Canada’s vast swaths of wilderness include lake-filled Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. It’s also home to Niagara Falls, a famous group of massive waterfalls.
Millions of people visit Canada every year on temporary residence visas. Following are two major categories of temporary residence visas.